Tis the season to be jolly.
Why not? As we approach the Winter Solstice this is the season where people tend to be the most generous. This is when most of us slow down from our drives, ambitions and tyrannical to-do lists to spend quality time with those close to us. This is when the food is the yummiest and Hollywood releases some of its best movies. This could be a time for a much needed meditation and reboot so we can consecrate a new start for an unwritten, fresh New Year.
Are you enjoying these kinds of experiences? I sure hope so. And to whatever extent you are experiencing the dark underbelly of the holidays, which for many people includes loneliness, depression and family conflict, don’t sweat it. Let’s put all of this into perspective and remember what we are celebrating.
In the Christian religions the birth of Jesus is being celebrated. He is one of the most influential teachers in the history of the human race, and his teachings continue to touch billions of people world-wide. According to the Gospels Jesus demonstrated the miracle of resurrection (ascension) after being judged, killed and spending three days in the underworld. He was the first major leader to teach “love your enemies”.
This is also the sacred time for Jews of Channukah – the festival of Lights. Jews celebrate a time when the ancient Hebrews, under the leadership of the Maccabee clan, were fighting a military battle to protect their homeland against a vastly superior Syrian army. They had to summon tremendous courage and self-sacrifice to prevail after many years of persecution and oppression. Jews also believe that this victory against the oppressors would not have happened without the intervention of God.
The ancient Romans celebrated their festival of Saturnalia in late December. They did lots of feasting, drinking, gift giving and partying. During this time masters would serve their slaves and truth talking that may be unwise at other times was encouraged. The early Christian church eventually replaced Saturnalia with Christmas.
In modern America it seems that we celebrate a hybrid of Saturnalia and Christmas. Our media and marketing based culture puts a big emphasis on the material side. I feel that recent events here in the USA are a good reminder for us to touch back into the deeper spiritual traditions of this holiday time. The stories of Jesus and his apostles and the outnumbered ancient Hebrew defenders are a wake-up call for us to summon our qualities of courage, faith and connection with our Divine source. At its deepest level it includes the willingness to face death to experience freedom and rebirth. Those of us living materially comfortable lives free from warfare may see all that as happenings from long ago, but that is not really the case.
According to the European healing system of Biogeneology we are joined at the hip with our ancestors. Our diseases and emotional imbalances are the attempts of our body-mind to resolve our own conflicts and those of our ancestors. According to this system the best way to resolve cancer, chronic pain and other diseases is to allow ourselves to fully feel the emotions associated with the original conflict so they can release out of our experience.
This is the time of year for letting go of the old and starting a new cycle. It is understandable to have old issues come up into your experience. If this happens to you, see it as an opportunity to lighten up your inner world. Breathe into those feelings, feel them fully and let your voice and body do what they need to do to express and release them. Self-healing methods such as EFT tapping, rapid eye movement (EMDR), meditation and journaling are great supports for moving through uncomfortable feelings. (I offer a simple EMDR exercise at the end of this article.)
This season is best fulfilled when we combine celebration and enjoyment with times of reflection and inner healing. I also see the recent election as a call to spiritual activism, an imperative for us to stand in our power. It will take many millions of people standing in their power to protect the environment, women’s and gay rights, endangered species and much more.
We are now living through our modern version of the ancient stories of Channukah and Christmas. It is very powerful when spiritually awakened people take inspired action, listening to their higher guidance. Don’t be afraid to feel your own pain and love yourself through it. That is usually a necessary part of the path of awakening. Love yourself, love and support others and love the Earth. And also fully feel your joy and take the time to share it with others.
If you find yourself moving through challenging feelings, you can use this very simple EMDR exercise to transform the feelings and empower yourself:
- Connect with the feeling. Tune into where it is centered in your body and direct your full breath there. Consciously summon your love and send it to that part of your body.
- Breathe fully throughout the rest of this exercise.
- Position your head so you are looking straight ahead. Without moving your head, rapidly turn your eyes all the way to the left and then all the way to the right, back and forth like windshield wipers, Do this 5 – 10 times while rapidly blinking and deeply breathing.
- While doing that you could say something like “I am now releasing (sadness, rage, anxiety, etc). Feel yourself connecting with the feelings and letting them move.
- After the eye movement open your eyes and mouth very wide, then scrunch them all the way shut. Repeat this 3 times.
- Breathe deeply in through your nose and out your mouth 5 times.
- Repeat as needed.
If you enjoyed this message please pass it onto others. Do what you can to create more love, freedom and justice in the world.